This is the tale of two timeshares.
One that sells itself and the other where they shove it down your throat.
Yes, I’m talking about timeshares again because I enjoy listening to their pitch to see their latest sales tricks.
My wife, Ellen and I often sit in on a sales pitch just for fun to get our gift card and to see what other bonuses we can negotiate out of them.
We’ve been through at least 30 sales pitches over the years and one sales rep said we could probably sell him a timeshare since we knew all of their tricks.
We love our timeshares and have no intention of adding to our timeshare portfolio so it’s usually just a way for us to get a free dinner in exchange for a couple of hours of entertainment (yes we have a warped perspective of fun!).
Full disclosure: We own a few timeshares in Sedona and Lake Tahoe and we’ve always purchased on the resale market for pennies on the dollar.
We never paid retail price for our weeks.
Timeshare salespeople are always fine-tuning their sales pitch so they can close more new clients and upsell current clients.
They test their pitches on hundreds of couples every day so it’s safe to say the pitch they’re trying on us is pretty effective.
These people will sell you a timeshare even if you don’t want one through high-pressure sales tactics with sometimes 4-5 people tag-teaming you until you agree to buy.
They won’t let you out the door until you say “uncle”.
One sales rep called us stupid because we didn't take him up on his irresistible offer.
Recently, we spent a week at our South Lake Tahoe timeshare which is an older property but right on the lake with a private beach.
Lakefront property at Lake Tahoe is virtually impossible to find so this is a prime location.
Tahoe Beach & Ski is an independently owned timeshare, not run by the mega-resort companies.
The annual fees are minimal and the goal of the resort is to provide a great, affordable, family experience for the owners, not to make a huge profit.
Most timeshares are in it to make as much profit as possible, hence the high-pressure sales pitches.
Tahoe Beach & Ski doesn’t have a sales team.
There are minimal units available on the resale market and they go for $500 to $1000 depending on the size of the unit.
They never have to advertise to sell available units.
In fact, most of the time, the owners purchase additional weeks to share with family and friends.
Where else can you get lakefront accommodations at Lake Tahoe for around $90 a night?
People want to buy timeshares at Tahoe Beach and Ski because it creates an pleasant atmosphere of an affordable, amazing experience.
Also, if you want to sell your unit back to the resort, they’ll gladly buy it back from you.
Try that at a mega-resort.
Next door to Tahoe Beach and Ski is the Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort which used to be an Embassy Suites.
It’s a mega-resort owned by Hilton.
Our Sedona timeshare is owned by Hilton and they are definitely a “for profit” company.
Hilton adds properties to their portfolio by purchasing distressed and bankrupt timeshare properties.
There’s nothing wrong with that tactic except they often cross the line with deceptive and dishonest practices.
Hilton desperately wants to take over Tahoe Beach and Ski to gain access to the private beach for the guests of the Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort.
If this happens the beach will be overcrowded and the resort atmosphere will be destroyed.
Over the years, Hilton has purchased resale units at Tahoe Beach and Ski and now owns 25% of the units.
They even colluded with the management company to acquire units illegally behind the back of the board who is required to approve all resales.
They’ve tried to take over the board many times by misrepresenting their views while running for board seats.
This is classic David vs. Goliath.
We actually own timeshares with both companies, but we don’t want to see Tahoe Beach and Ski taken over by the mega-resort.
If Hilton wins, Tahoe Beach and Ski will no longer be a relaxing, no-pressure resort.
Hilton will raise the fees and pressure us into upgrading every few years.
Through a grass-roots effort, we’ve successfully held them off for now but we’re afraid the deep pockets of Hilton will eventually buy enough units to gain controlling interest of the resort.
Which experience do you prefer? The laid-back, sells-itself approach or the high-pressure, in-your-face sales tactic?
Do you let people buy when they're ready or do you aggressively sell your products and services just to close another deal?
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